Tobacco industry still vibrant, only rules have changed—Chidanti Malunga

Tobacco Commission (TC) chief executive officer, Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga, has dispelled fears that the tobacco industry could face natural death as the West pushes for the anti-smoking lobby and other campaigns.

Malunga made the sentiments Saturday in the capital Lilongwe during an interface meeting with members of the Media Network on Tobacco (MNT), which is a grouping of like-minded journalists with a passion to disseminate correct information about the tobacco value chain in Malawi.

Dr Chidanti Malunga (Centre)

Malawi is largely dependent on agriculture with tobacco as the main cash crop and foreign exchange earner.

However, the growing global anti-smoking campaign, which has resulted in local calls for crop diversification in order to replace tobacco, has brought about uncertainty over the future of the crop in the country.

But Malunga emphasized that the industry remains vibrant and the most reliable contributor the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He said there are some individuals who are churning ‘organized misinformation aimed at frustrating the ever growing tobacco industry in the country’.

Malunga assured growers and the citizenry that they should expect ‘even much improved production and prices of the crop in the future seasons’.

“The truth of the matter is that no any other crop in Malawi can replace tobacco at the moment, even in the very distant future,” he challenged, adding that those advocating for the replacement of tobacco have an evil agenda and merely want to mislead people.

“Of course, we agree that rules in the tobacco industry have now changed. We now have to do more of what our customers need such as making sure that our tobacco is not produced through child labour. It has to be clean tobacco. But whatever happens to tobacco should not be the justification to diversify to replace the crop,” said Malunga.

Malunga added that since many growers have been affected and that there is uncertainty, TC has started implementing various initiatives in order to maintain tobacco as the ‘darling crop’ for most Malawians.

“For instance, we have already started registration for the next season. We are telling farmers that tobacco production and prices will be even much better this coming season. Of course, there was a problem of volume in the exiting season. We will sort out this in the next season. Growers should look forward to the best,” he said.

MNT president, Alfred Chauwa, urged TC to work with the grouping in order to put across correct messages that would inspire farmers to grow even more and high quality leaf.

Chauwa, who is also Nyasa Times reporter, further urged his fellow journalists to exercise caution when reporting about tobacco in the country, saying any uncensored reporting can affect the economic benefits of the crop.

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Justice for all
Justice for all
3 months ago

The truth is tobacco farming is a succide activity at moment don’t lie to the people that they must look forward until when

Mzakwacha Nixon N
Mzakwacha Nixon N
3 months ago

The president few months past,said Tobacco is not encourages,we(Malaw) must there4,find as lternative crops. Dr.Malunga,The truth is don’t really encourage citizens to gtow tobacco. The proccess to get cash is laborious…kulima hona is useless,wanthu wakuvuka nakusambazgisha waka The tobacco [email protected] of the day get nothing. Dr.Malunga,agree with me not,whole 300 days,a farmer/family pocketing +- MK200,000,what’s is that?is airtime to people like you,but a family somewhere in Malawi is the annual income,very ridiculous. I request Chakwera to really look for plan B for farmers are [email protected] enjoy. Hona aleke wakaa !! Regards, Mzakwacha Nixon, DURBAN. KwaZulu NaTaL. Mzakwacha Village Bolero-Rumphi +27724922299… Read more »

K Phiri
K Phiri
3 months ago

Lets not sugar-coat the issues here. The truth is that the tobacco industry is a dying/ dead industry. Even the state president said it clearly during the opening of the 2021 marketing season. Are we contradicting what the big man said? Lets not begin to cheat ourselves. It will end in tears. Theres growing global anti smoking campaign out there led by WHO. Globally the number of smokers is dwindling. Number of alternatives to cigarettes has grown. Therefore as a country we shouldnt wait until the “last smoker drops dead”. Lets identify alternative value chains for our farmers.

Kapolo Sakwiya
Kapolo Sakwiya
3 months ago

This is in complete contrast to what the state president said a few months ago about the need to identify alternatives. Take it or leave it, but tobacco is a dying industry. Prepare your farmers to venture into alternative livelihoods.

Extra Point
Extra Point
3 months ago
Reply to  Kapolo Sakwiya

Big contrast. Dr Chidanti is protecting his job and not tobacco. Tobacco has limited future. Market across the global is dwindling at fast rate. There is nothing Dr Chidanti can do.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
3 months ago
Reply to  Kapolo Sakwiya

Fodya akhala akulimidwa mpaka mpaka baba osamanvera zinazi. Enafe tikudyera momo ndipo tatukuka naye. Balubwa lubwani ife tikakhomera basi. Izi ndi za season sitisiya.

Jah
Jah
3 months ago
Reply to  Kapolo Sakwiya

Inenso ndikudabwa nazo who is in control,?? Malunga you are a dunderhead

Dausee
Dausee
3 months ago
Reply to  Kapolo Sakwiya

The president was right for once. A Chidanti wa analuza u MP mchere wawo ndi ntchito yomweyi anawapatsa atakhala number chitseka khomo pa interview.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
3 months ago

KKKK Izi ndiye zonveka osati zolima chamba zija.

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